When life threw us a curve ball (as it did the rest of the world), the teacher in me immediately went into learning mode. I knew that I didn’t want this time to be consumed with sleeping all day, eating copious amounts of junk food, and falling victim to the mesmerizing glow of the boob tube. (Thanks for the classic terminology, Poppa!) So, I quickly began working on a “plan” that would help keep us all sane and would transfer easily between two homes, as my children’s father and I share equal custody, and our kids go back and forth about every three days.
The first thing I wanted to do was make sure we had a central location to both get work done and house materials. I knew this would eliminate supplies being lost or strewn around the house and would also serve as a central work station and meeting place. We cleaned up an old desk and night stand that we had stored away in the shed and filled them with all the supplies we had on hand (and a few we grabbed at Family Dollar and Walmart) and made it as inviting as possible.
Next, I knew that no amount of adorable decoration or perfect organization would combat the chaos that would ensue if there was no tentative schedule in place. I took some tips from some posts I had seen floating around Facebook, and I came up with a daily routine that I thought would work well for us. I printed and laminated a schedule for both homes so that the kiddos could maintain as much consistency as possible. Three days in, and we are still sticking to the plan fairly closely!
Our first day was spent just getting used to being home, playing outside a lot, and doing some crafty things, like tie-dying and slime.
Since then, we have begun delving into the worksheets I found and printed from some of the incredibly generous companies that are offering their resources for free during this time; picked up and worked on the packets provided by our district; explored a few free, educational apps and websites; went on a virtual field trip to the Great Wall of China; and watched a Brazilian Porcupine at play at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.
We have also gone on family walks, played in the driveway more than we have in the seven months since moving into our current home, gone on a field trip to the car wash, watched a bird building its nest, filled bird feeders, and listened to a bedtime story read by Betty White.
I know that many people are in a state of panic right now, stress levels are incredibly high, and the fear of the unknown is sometimes suffocating. However, I encourage everyone to take a moment to pause. Breathe. Turn off the news. And focus on all that could possibly go right during this time instead of dwelling on the negative. We’ve got this, y’all!